I Need Your Help

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It would seem I am at a bit of a crossroads.  I recently had a friend tell me she loved my wine blog, and I was so very grateful.  However, I feel it could be better, after all, always trying to improve on something is how we grow.  I have been consistently writing a wine blog every Saturday morning for almost 6 years.  Pretty well 48 wine blogs a year, as I don’t write them when I am travelling.  I made a promise about 3 years ago to always feature at least 1 new wine.  Now this might seem like a daunting task to some, but I was up for the challenge.  And I am lucky that I am involved with a lot of wine tastings, so I do sample a number of new wines each week.

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Let me tell you why I got into writing a wine blog.  I am a certified Sommelier, having received my designation in April of this year.  It took me 5 years, but mainly because they only offer each of the 8 modules once a year and if I missed it for one year, I had to wait a full year to take it again.  My very last one, I had to wait 2 years.  So you can become a Sommelier in 3 years.  It’s pretty well non-stop for 3 years, with course after course, but it was something I wanted to finish.  I can’t tell you how much I learned in those 5 years.  Years earlier I had visited the Napa Valley in California, and my big question was ‘What makes a wine good’?  And the response I received the most was ‘A wine that you like’.  And I found the answer frustrating, but as I was learning about wine, I realized it is the only correct answer.  If you like it, it’s a good wine.

Mystery wine

One of the reasons I write a wine blog and I do wine tastings today, is to take away some of the mystery out of wine.  There was a time when I would say ‘I don’t like French wine’.  Of course I liked French wine… it’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay… I didn’t like buying French wine, because I didn’t know what I was buying.  For the most part, France labels their wine by region, and unless you know what grapes are grown in which region, it was a coin toss.  So I really want to help people make buying wine simple.  And if not simple, at least make it easier.

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Another huge reason I do a weekly wine blog is that I wanted to dispel the myth that inexpensive wine can’t be wonderful, and that if you want to drink good wine, you have to buy expensive wine.  That is not the case.  I am not a fan of what I will call ‘assembly line’ wine.  In my opinion, that is wine that has been manipulated with artificial sweeteners, or sometimes even oak chips, to mass produce a ‘cheaper’ tasting product.  But two of my favorite wines, and staples in my wine rack, are these 2.  And they are both under $16.

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One is the Farmers of Wine from Italy, a delicious Primitivo from Italy ($16), and the other is Anciano Tempranillo from Spain ($15).  Great wines at a great price.

So here’s where I need your feedback.

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I would like feedback on how I can improve the wine blog.  Or let me know some of the things you would like to see in a wine blog.

If you scroll down through a few of my blogs, you will see for the most part they have the same pattern.  I share some part of my personal life and what I did that week, and then feature about 3 wines.  Is 3 too many?  I subscribe to other wine bloggers and for the most part they only feature 1 per blog.  Hmmmm?  Something to think about.  I need to know.

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I would really appreciate knowing what you like about my blogs and some of the things you don’t like.  I really like finding good value wines, and I’ve been told by many people they really appreciate that.  Most people I know aren’t opening $100 bottles of wine every night of the week.  And it’s not hard to find good wine under $25.

I’ve heard on many occasions  people rely on me to tell them about good wines that are reasonably priced.    What else would you like to know ?

I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments section.

Cheers, and thank you


Family Wine Time


I had an extremely busy week this past week, as I had family in town and hosted lots of family dinners.  And of course what enhances a family dinner better than some great wine.   My mom and dad were up from Newfoundland and they’re here pictured walking along the waterfront in Dewolf Park in Bedford, Nova Scotia.   My dad will be 87 on his next birthday and my mom is 82.    I’m very grateful they are doing so well.

My mom is a big white wine drinker and this was one of our favourites from the week


This is William Hill Chardonnay from the Napa Valley in California.  This Chardonnay undergoes a process called malolactic fermentation.  That is a process that removes all the tart malo acid and replaces it with a softer lactic acid and  it gives Chardonnay that buttery smoothness.   This wine also saw some oak  and is a great white wine for your favourite barbeque foods.


This is the wine  we enjoyed on my mom’s last night in town, a great Chardonnay from Chile.  Wine & Spirits gave this winner 92 Points and it only costs $25 a bottle.   It hails from the Limari region of Chile  and that region is becoming quite well-known for spectacular Chardonnay.  This white wine was medium- bodied with lots of expressive flavours of pear and figs.   On their last night here I barbecued ribs and wings for my parents and this wine paired extremely well.

And my wine of the week is ….


It was a very special gift from three very special ladies.   I live in a great apartment building in Halifax and I’m so lucky to have the most wonderful neighbours.   One of my groups of friends here are three ladies who have lived together for years and we lovingly call them the Golden Girls.   For my birthday recently these wonderful ladies gave me this fabulous  bottle of Pinot Noir.   Domaine de Valmoissimo  is a mouthful to say a big mouth full of good wine.   Beautiful cherry notes on the nose and lush strawberry flavours on the pallet.   It is very food friendly and will go with just about anything you serve on your dinner table.

Wine drink the good stuff

I think this is great advice, drink the good wine now.  My wine blog is a little late today because I just got back from taking my parents to the airport.   Can’t wait to see them in September.

Thank you for reading

Till next week, Cheers


Long Weekend Wines

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For most of Canada, this is a long weekend.  The weather is warm and it’s perfect patio weather.   I have a feeling a bottle or two of wine will be consumed this weekend.  I’ve tried some new ones recently, and I thought I would share them with you.


One of my favorite Canadian wineries is Burrowing Owl out of British Columbia, and Calliope Wines was founded by the owners of that winery, the Wyse Family.  It’s named after a small hummingbird in British Columbia, the smallest bird in Canada.  Calliope is also the Greek muse for eloquence and poetry and I think the name is very fitting for the wine.  I tried both the white and the red in the Figure 8 selection.  The white is mostly Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, with Gewurtztraminer and Viognier added in smaller amounts.  The result is a refreshing well balanced wine with floral notes and peach flavors.  It’s a great seafood wine or perfect if you just want to enjoy a glass on the patio.


The red is a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  It’s a medium to full-bodied wine with lots of flavor and lots of structure.  Those red grapes combine plum and cherry flavors with notes of black pepper.  A great wine for the long weekend, especially if you’re planning a barbecue .


Here’s a new Italian wine I’ve tried recently from renowned wine producer Frescobaldi.  From my favourite part of Italy, Tuscanny,  this medium-bodied wine has tart cherry flavour and spicy notes on the palate.  It’s a great value at just $15 per bottle.

And now for my wine of the week….


It’s a white wine from the Sonoma Coast, a beautiful Chardonnay from Schug.  Here’s a better picture


This is a fabulous Chardonnay and may be my wine of the Summer.  The tropical fruit and pear fruit flavors are stellar.  There  are so many things I love about this wine.   It was aged in oak but it’s not an oaky Chardonnay.   The oak was done very well and very subtle.   There was no malolactic fermentation, which is normally done with Chardonnay to bring out the buttery smoothness.  This wine maintains a very fresh acidity.  Lots of 90+ reviews across the board which means I’m not the only person that loved this wine.  Try it, you’ll love it too.


I’m super excited my Mom & Dad are coming to visit on Thursday.

I will share some of the fun in next weeks blog